Examples of Spatial History

· by admin

I posted these in the Zotero group, but I thought I would add them here as well.  I think these are two interesting examples of spatial history.  Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the American City is an example of using a spatial history component to bolster an argument.  We have been talking about Digital History and whether it needs to make an argument all semester and I think _Mapping Decline _is a great example of a project that does that.  Mapping the Du Bois Philadelphia Negro is another example of a spatial history project which could, and I think is intended to be, a research tool.  The project doesn’t currently offer any analysis, but they do list several research questions they hope to answer on the home page.

Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the American City

This web-based GIS project is a supplementary resource to the book Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the American City which was published in 2009 by Pennsylvania Press.  The maps on the site, four total, each visualize a theme discussed in the book.  The four maps, White Flight, Race & Property, Municipal Zoning, and Urban Renewal, allow users to toggle through representations of data from 1940 to 2010 in ten year increments.  Additionally each map includes a narration and analysis of what users see.  Users can toggle on and off layers such as municipal boundaries, roads & highways, and documents.

Mapping the Du Bois Philadelphia Negro 

Mapping the Du Bois Philadelphia Negro seeks to recreate the research by Du Bois on Philadelphia’s 7th ward.  Although Du Bois’s research has been lost, his original, color coded, map still survives.  The scholars involved with this project collected data from U.S. census about each individual in each household in order to attempt to recreate the survey data that Du Bois collected by interviewing residents in the area. The data collected was then used to create maps that can be overlaid on top of Du Bois’s original.  The scholars hope to add to the archive newspaper articles, historical photographs, health records, crime data, and business directories to the map.  By mapping this data they hope to answer the questions «How did Du Bois’s research methods reflect and influence developments in the social sciences and social survey movement?» and «What was the basis for his class grades?».